4 Things to Know About Portuguese Sensation Gelson Martins as Arsenal Eye January Transfer

Arsenal's superstar talisman Alexis Sanchez looks to be on the ​move to Manchester imminently, with Jose Mourinho currently favourite to land the Chilean's signature in a potential swap deal involving long-term Gunners target Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Now Gelson Martins is the latest forward to be linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium, as Arsene Wenger desperately vies for quality attacking reinforcements; to assist in securing a hotly contested Champions League place this season.

Martins isn't currently a household name in the UK, but he may be in the near future. Here's four key things to know about the Sporting CP winger...

4. Extremely Versatile

Gelson Martins currently plies his trade on the right wing for Sporting CP, but has played in a number of different positions throughout his young career.

The 22-year-old can operate in any of the forward three roles and is often alternated between the left and right wings; sometimes in a single match. His ability on the ball, frightening speed and cultured weak foot make him a dream for any manager with a tendency to change system in-game.

While playing at youth side Club Football Benfica and Sporting's B team, Martins also played as a right-back and performed well in the role. This would fit Arsene Wenger's criteria of alternating between systems with wing-backs and standard wide-forwards often.

3. Humble Beginnings

Despite his immense natural talent and value in terms of his contribution to the Portuguese giants, Martins is miles away from the five-digit wages we're accustomed to hearing about in the Premier League.

The winger currently has five years left on a six-year deal he signed last year and has a £53m buyout clause, which means should he make the switch to north London he'd instantly be rewarded with his ten percent bonus - £5.3m.

This sum of money is completely alien to Martins, who's current contract entitles him to under £4000-a-week, which is ludicrous for a player of his ability in today's frivolous footballing business.

2. Barcelona Missed Opportunity to Sign Him on a Free

Back in 2012 Sporting's signing of Jeffren Suarez from Barcelona left the club in trouble financially and as a result Sporting offered the Catalan giants the chance to take youth players off their hands.

Gelson Martins and Joao Mario were both part of the set up at the time and were made readily available for a switch, but Barca instead chose Edgar Le and Agostinho Ca. Joao Mario has since left Lisbon for €40m to Inter Milan, with Martins likely to surpass that fee.

With the international director of sports at Barcelona, Ariedo Braida recently confirming their new found interest in Martins, Barcelona indeed missed out on an absolute steal.

1. Will Face Competition From Liverpool

Liverpool have cash to burn following the sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona and Jurgen Klopp will be desperate to add some real quality to his ranks, in an attempt to soften the blow of the Brazilian's exit from Anfield.

They're reportedly offering upwards of £80,000-a-week for Martins, but are unwilling to pay the full £53m release clause and have bid half the desired fee.

However, Sporting hold all of the cards with the players contract standing until the summer of 2022, so should Arsenal best Liverpool's bid; they'll likely secure the signature of the future star this January.